The Courier & Advertiser (Perth and Perthshire Edition)

Pro­ject turns An­struther as­tro­nom­i­cal

True-scale model of the so­lar sys­tem launched in Fife vil­lage

- Michael alexan­der malexan­der@the­ Anstruther · Belarus · Iceland · Huddersfield Town F.C. · Austria · Pittenweem · Pittenweem · United Kingdom · Dunfermline Athletic F.C. · Dunfermline · Paterson · Belgium · Fife · Dalgety Bay · Dalgety

While Nasa spends mil­lions of dol­lars send­ing rock­ets into space, An­struther has in­stead brought outer space down to earth with a novel way of ex­plor­ing the so­lar sys­tem.

The of­fi­cial launch of the An­struther Model So­lar Sys­tem was marked yesterday, on the sum­mer sol­stice, by an af­ter­noon of space-re­lated fun ac­tiv­i­ties.

The An­struther Model So­lar Sys­tem is a true-scale model of the so­lar sys­tem, re­cently built in An­struther and made pos­si­ble as an An­struther Town Cen­tre Work­ing Group pro­ject.

It ex­tends al­most 600 me­tres, from the ‘sun’, at the old Sun Tav­ern (op­po­site the Life Boat Shed) to ‘Pluto’, about 100 me­tres past the Dreel Tav­ern on the way to­wards Pit­ten­weem.

The plan­ets are shown to scale on bronzed plates on build­ing frontages, mostly along Shore Street.

If the tide is out, bud­ding space ex­plor­ers can cross the step­ping stones to reach ‘Nep­tune’ in The Es­planade.

Yesterday’s ac­tiv­i­ties started at the old Sun Tav­ern with a short talk by Dr Ha­nia Allen, who came close to the fi­nal of the Pro­ject Juno com­pe­ti­tion to find Bri­tain’s first as­tro­naut.

Par­tic­i­pants were able to wan­der and get a sense of the vast­ness of space and un­der­stand how tiny our home planet is by com­par­i­son.

Af­ter vis­it­ing Pluto, par­tic­i­pants were in­vited to re­turn down the hill to the Dreel Halls, where re­fresh­ments and fur­ther ac­tiv­i­ties awaited.

The Dun­fermline As­tro­nom­i­cal So­ci­ety along with Dal­gety Bay As­tron­omy Club were present to demon­strate a va­ri­ety of tele­scopes.

Nor­man Pater­son, who cre­ated the pro­ject, said: “I hope the model will be an ad­di­tion to An­struther’s at­trac­tions.

“Peo­ple will be able to say ‘I’ll meet you at Saturn at 5 o’clock’ or what­ever.

“An­struther is a lovely place and I hope I have added a lit­tle to its charms. “It is also un­de­ni­ably ed­u­ca­tional. “I hope that peo­ple will not sim­ply rush past with­out any thought or re­flec­tion about what they are see­ing.”

Jim Braid of the An­struther Town Cen­tre Work­ing Group added: “Nor­man first came up with the idea at least 10 years ago and with his per­se­ver­ance it has come to fruition.

“It has been one of the smaller TCWG projects but it is cer­tainly unique in con­cept and I’m sure it will be another pop­u­lar at­trac­tion in An­struther. “

East Neuk Fife coun­cil­lor El­iz­a­beth Riches said: “This un­usual at­trac­tion should prove pop­u­lar with chil­dren and adults alike.”

 ??  ?? Visi­tor Lucy Mor­ri­son, from Rosyth. Pic­ture: Ge­orge Mcluskie.
Visi­tor Lucy Mor­ri­son, from Rosyth. Pic­ture: Ge­orge Mcluskie.

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